The thing about holidays and birthdays is that they sneak up on you. One minute you think you have weeks to plan out the perfect gifts, and then suddenly the day is upon you. Fortunately, getting a gift with little notice isn’t as hard as it used to be. There are countless subscriptions and digital offerings that your giftee is sure to appreciate. We collected some of our favorite last-minute gift ideas to help you find presents that your friends and family will love.
Online Learning Platform
Is your friend interested in online courses? Udemy has over 130,000 taught by experts from all over the world. That might sound completely overwhelming, but Udemy allows you to gift specific courses, so you can tailor them to whatever your friend may be interested in. It’s easy to put off taking an online course, so this gift might be the thing to encourage your friend to follow through.
Does your friend have a trip to a new country coming up? Or maybe they’ve just always expressed an interest in a new language? You can get your friend Babbel as a gift! Babbel has lessons in 14 languages, all designed by experts and ready to teach you language for real life.
Video Courses Taught By Experts
The idea behind MasterClass is that people get to take video courses from people at the very top of their fields. Whether it be Helen Mirren teaching acting or Aaron Sorkin teaching screenwriting, these courses are just really cool. No, it’s not the same as actually being in a room with these celebrities, but you’re still getting invaluable resources. And you can gift any individual course to the person of your choice.
Nonprofit Education Charity
There was a time when donating money in someone else’s name was considered a “lame” gift. But in an era of excess when people are so tired of having things that we’ve launched Marie Kondo into overwhelming success, donations can be one of the most thoughtful of the last-minute gift ideas. You can use a service like DonorsChoose, which helps connect small donors with schools both near and far that need money. Best of all, you can be sure that your money is really going to directly help people.
Settling decades of dispute over whether listening to a book counts as reading it, audiobooks have flourished recently (because yes, it counts as reading). And with a service like Audible, you can give someone a regular supply of books to listen to.
6. Blue Apron
Meal Kit Service
If you know a college student who wants to start learning the basics of cooking or someone who likes cooking but doesn’t have the time to do meal prep, Blue Apron is a perfect gift. The service mails you exactly what you need to prepare a meal, saving you the trouble of recipe research and grocery store trips. Plus, it’s probably healthier than Trader Joe’s frozen meals.
Exercise Course Subscription Service
ClassPass is relatively new, but it’s quickly reshaping the way people exercise. You can get a subscription and sign up for exercise classes in places all over the United States, whether it be boxing, pilates, yoga or whatever else you like to do to stay in shape. And, for the purposes of this guide, you can give someone a gift card. You might want to double-check how much is available near the giftee, however, because ClassPass is still mainly in major cities.
Premium Podcast App
Podcasts have mostly been free since they first started becoming popular, so it may seem silly to start paying for them. But if anything will change your mind, it’s Luminary. The podcast app has a ton of original shows, from people like Roxane Gay, Trevor Noah and Hannibal Buress. If you have a friend who loves podcasts but isn’t willing to shell out the money, this could be ideal for them.
Meditation And Mindfulness App
The world is filled with so many distraction, sometimes you need a way to get away from it all. And while it may seem counterintuitive to use your phone to destress when often your phone is the very source of stress, Headspace is a worthy app to look into. Give someone the gift of learning how to meditate and unwind. They just might need it.
10. YouTube Premium
Premium Streaming Service
Last we checked, there are about one billion different streaming services that you can subscribe to. Frankly, it’s overwhelming to try to get access to everything you might want to watch. Take a burden off your giftee’s shoulders by giving them YouTube Premium. It doesn’t have the same cultural urgency as Hulu or Netflix, but it has great benefits. With Premium, your giftee can get rid of all the ads, download videos to watch them later and access exclusive content.
Nonfiction Book Digest
There are a lot of books in the world about ways to improve your life. Too many, even? Fortunately, Blinkist has got you covered. They digest books into their major insights, so you can learn from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Thinking, Fast and Slow without committing hours of time to them. Sure, it’s not the same as reading the full book, but your friend who loves the hustle will appreciate the time-saving gift.
Online Learning Community
Another choice for someone who wants to take online courses, Skillshare is an increasingly popular tool. Focusing mostly on skills that are useful in the modern economy, your friend can learn photography, creative writing, animation and even how to make content that will go viral. You can gift your friend new abilities to help their current career or launch into a new one.
Home-Share And Experience Hub
You likely already know Airbnb, as it’s the largest home-share service in the world. You might not know about the experiences, however. With Airbnb Experiences, people can join groups and meet up with locals to do activities like going on food tours, hiking through forests or photographing scenic sights. By giving an Airbnb gift card, you’re giving someone the chance to stay in a new place and experience new things at home and abroad.